Archive for October, 2010

Santa Barbara Employment Opportunities – Part II

Friday, October 29th, 2010

I promised to tell you more about what the Scheinfeld Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the Santa Barbara City College campus has to offer. Today, I’ll cover the courses they offer and a short review of a recent guest speaker. (Click here to read Part I of this series).

Santa Barbara's Scheinfeld Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Santa Barbara's Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Last Friday (10/22/10), Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s, was the guest of honor for a conversation about starting and building your own business. Mr. Orfalea is a very candid character who isn’t afraid to say what he thinks! He shared philosophies learned from his parents and over many years building a business from a small Isla Vista storefront to a nationwide corporation.

Paul Orfalea, Founder of Kinko's

Paul Orfalea, Founder of Kinko's

He was rather humble about how he got his initial idea for his business, seeing students lined up at USC to have copies made. Paul figured if they needed copies at USC they probably would need copies at UCSB! In fact, that was one of his key points: pay attention, notice what is going on around you – that’s where you will find all your answers and ideas.

Part of the mission of the Schienfeld Center is to offer cutting edge educational opportunities for students interested in starting and growing their own business. Currently, they are in the middle of the fall semester offerings. The traditional type courses offered through the business department range from entrepreneurship finance, accounting and law to business and marketing plan development. Students can also register for interdisciplinary courses to learn about internet and social network marketing, electronic commerce, web design, and projects in sustainability to name just a few. Perhaps you would like to run your own business but you are not sure exactly what to do. Take Creative Thinking (GDP 118) to help you enhance your creative abilities and problem solving skills.

There are plenty of powerful and exciting courses available now and more coming as the Scheinfeld Center seems to expand each year. They are striving to meet the needs of a wide and varied audience creating businesses in diverse markets. If you are one of those people, check out their website for resources and links that can help you find information and answers; and, you never know, you just might discover some very exciting opportunities.

Thanks for reading this blog and I welcome your comments.

-Sylvia E. Miller
Cell: 805-448-8882

Remember my virtual compatriots, until we blog again, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (from Monty Python)!

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Sylvia Elizabeth Miller
, ‘The Right Realtor® For You’
Coastal Properties, Inc
1086 Coast Village Rd,
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Email: sylvia@sanbarb.com ~ Cell:
805-448-8882 ~ Toll Free: 877-San-Barb
Web: SantaBarbaraConnection.com


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© Copyright Sylvia E. Miller, Sylvia Miller Real Estate Services Blog 2010. All rights reserved.
California Department of Real Estate #: 00558548

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Montecito’s Glass Pavilion – Oprah’s $35 Million Dollar Neighbor.

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Montecito's Glass Pavilion

Montecito's Glass Pavilion

The Glass Pavilion, an almost entirely glass home enclosed by natural landscapes, and Montecito’s crème de la crème neighbors including Oprah Winfrey. This spectacular property was designed by well know Los Angeles designer and builder, Steve Hermann.

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Situated on a 3.5 private acre estate of gently rolling lawns and Oak Tree groves, the home consists of 14,000+ sq.ft., and includes, five bedrooms, five+ baths, spacious kitchen with wine room & grand hallway.

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Montecito's Glass Pavilion

Montecito's Glass Pavilion

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One of its most extraordinary features is its art gallery currently displaying a vintage car collection. The space is so generous that it is capable of holding up to 32 cars within its walnut lined walls. This is a world-class home with possibly no equal. Simply Amazing!

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Montecito's Glass Pavilion

Art gallery currently displaying a vintage car collection.

If you would like more information or schedule a viewing appointment, I would be very happy to arrange a private showing. Please contact me at (805)448-8882 or sylvia@sanbarb.com.

Thank you!

-Sylvia E. Miller
Cell: 805-448-8882

Remember my virtual compatriots, until we blog again, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (from Monty Python)!

–Sylvia Miller

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Sylvia Elizabeth Miller, ‘The Right Realtor® For You’
Senior Realtor® Associate
Certified Short Sale/REO Agent

Broker: Coastal Properties, Inc
Email: sylvia@sanbarb.com
Cell: 805-448-8882 ~ Toll Free: 877-San-Barb
Web: SantaBarbaraConnection.com
DRE #: 00558548

This is not my listing, nor Coastal Properties. It is listed however by Sotheby’s International Realty, a Santa Barbara MLS Participating Member. The data relating to real estate for sale comes from the Broker Reciprocity/IDX program of Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service. This agreement grants members rights to feature other participating members’ listings on their websites.

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© Copyright Sylvia E. Miller, Sylvia Miller Real Estate Services Blog 2010. All rights reserved.

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Santa Barbara Employment Opportunities – Part I

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Why not create your own job and be your own boss? A good place to start is Santa Barbara’s Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on the Santa Barbara City College Campus.

SCHEINFELD CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATION

SCHEINFELD CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATION

Wayne Rosing, former Google Engineer

Wayne Rosing, former Google Engineer

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The Scheinfeld Center offers many options or avenues in which they accomplish their mission.
They host presentations by a variety of business leaders.  I attended the discussion with Wayne Rosing, former Google engineer and Pam Lopker, co-founder and President of QAD. They offered interesting insights into some important strategies to consider when growing a business or company. If you are interested, you can access videos of these presentation at the Scheinfled Center’s video library. The next presenter will be Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinkos, on October 22.

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Pam Lopker, co-founder QAD.

Pam Lopker, co-founder QAD.

The Scheinfled Center offers a range of ways for business people to communicate and share information. They have a blog on their website and you can “friend” them on Facebook or Twitter. Additionally, they initiated a new website for connecting business people, SouthCoastBizConnect.com. (More on this website in future entries!)

Obviously, being a part of Santa Barbara City College, the Center offers cutting edge courses for the 21st century businessperson. ‘Santa Barbara Employment Opportunities – Part Two’ (my next blog entry) will cover the scope of offerings anyone can access through Santa Barbara City College.

If you’re looking for a new future, a way to network, or interested in attending some interesting events, including some one-on-one conversations with many of our highly successful business leaders, then I strongly recommend checking out the Scheinfeld Center.

Thanks for reading this blog and I welcome your comments.

–Sylvia Miller

Remember my virtual compatriots, until we blog again, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (from Monty Python)!

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Sylvia Elizabeth Miller, ‘The Right Realtor® For You’
Senior Realtor® Associate
Certified Short Sale/REO Agent

Broker: Coastal Properties, Inc
Email: sylvia@sanbarb.com
Cell: 805-448-8882 ~ Toll Free: 877-San-Barb
Web: SantaBarbaraConnection.com
DRE #: 00558548

© Copyright Sylvia E. Miller, Sylvia Miller Real Estate Services Blog 2010. All rights reserved.

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Santa Barbara Active Life Styles: Elings Park!

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Are you looking to relocate to an area that has everything for the active life style? A great choice would be the Santa Barbara area! It is full of active people and there are plenty of sports and activities available for everyone to enjoy. Most people think of Santa Barbara for surfing and other ocean/water sports but the truth is you can find just about any activity or sport available in the area.

One popular recreation area in Santa Barbara is Elings Park:

"Santa Barbara's Beautiful Elings Park"

Santa Barbara's Beautiful Elings Park

"Paragliders taking off at Elings Park"

Paragliders taking off at Elings Park

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Elings Park offers a wide range of activities on their 97 acres such as: baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, rugby and ultimate Frisbee. If sports are not your cup of tea, you can try paragliding, off leash dog walking, hiking, radio controlled car racing, bmx racing or the downhill mountain bike course. There is literally something for everyone… including great views!

The three lighted softball fields get plenty of use. See the schedule below to find a league that suits you:

  • Monday – Women’s League (7 teams)  /  Age: 50+ League (4 teams)  Fast pitch skills & practice
  • Tuesday – Lower Coed (7 teams),  Lower Men’s (7 teams), Upper Men’s (7 teams)
  • Wednesday – Fast pitch (5 teams),  Lower Coed (7 teams), Upper Coed (7 teams)
  • Thursday – Lower Coed (5 teams),  Mid Coed (5 teams), Upper Men’s (5 teams)  /  Lower Men’s (7 teams)
  • Friday – Lower/Upper/Middle Coed (21 max)
"Elings Park Women's Softball League"

Elings Park Women's Softball League

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If you want to join a team or start one of your own you can go to the Elings Park website or contact Clyde at clydebennett13@yahoo.com; or to inquire about renting a baseball/softball field, please contact Interim Program Director Predrag Novakovic at 569-5611 x13.

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So come out to Eling’s Park, bring the family and the pets, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. You’re sure to have a lot of fun…see you there!

-Sylvia Miller

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Sylvia Elizabeth Miller, ‘The Right Realtor® For You’
Senior Realtor® Associate
Certified Short Sale/REO Agent

Broker: Coastal Properties, Inc
Email: sylvia@sanbarb.com
Cell: 805-448-8882 ~ Toll Free: 877-San-Barb
Web: SantaBarbaraConnection.com
DRE #: 00558548

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© Copyright Sylvia E. Miller, Sylvia Miller Real Estate Services Blog 2010. All rights reserved.

Santa Barbara Real Estate Sales Data Jan-Sept 2010

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Summary: Home sales during September 2010 for all Santa Barbara communities, including all neighborhoods of the city of Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Carpinteria, Summerland and Goleta declined from the activity seen during August. While the number of sales have declined 5 out of the last 6 months, there is good news. The median sales price increased some $100,000 from $777,000 in August to $879,750 in September; and the average sales price increase substantially from $1.16 million in August to $1.57 million in September.

Time Period: 09/01/10-09/31/10

Property Type: Homes (excluding condos)
Areas Included: The greater Santa Barbara area, including Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch, Carpinteria/Summerland and Goleta.

MARKET DATA*:

  • Number of Closed Sales: 74, sales down from 79 in Aug ’10.
  • Median Sales Price: $879,000, up from $777,000 in Aug ’10.
  • Average Sales Price: $1.58 million, up from $1.17 million in Aug ’10.
  • Sales Price to Original List Price Ratio: 92%, up from 86% in Aug ’10.
  • Number of Pended Escrows: 78, down from 95 in Aug ’10.
  • Total Inventory: 629 homes, down from 660 in Aug ’10.
  • Number of New Listings: 138, down from 141 in Aug ’10.
  • Median List Price of New Listings: $975,000, down from $1.2 million in Aug ’10.
  • Median List Price of Overall Inventory: $1.5 million, down from $1.6 million in Aug ’10.

Total Number of Santa Barbara Home Sales: Jan-Sept 2010

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Median Home Sales Price - Santa Barbara Area: Jan-Sept 2010

If you would like more information on the Santa Barbara Real Estate Market, or more specific information about properties for sale within Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpinteria and Summerland, Goleta, Hope Ranch, and the Santa Ynez Valley, please contact me, sylvia@sanbarb.com, cell: 805-448-8882.

I stand ready to meet your every Real Estate need.

Thank you! – Sylvia Elizabeth Miller

* Data Source: Santa Barbara Multiple Listing Service (SBAOR)

Santa Barbara Listings Offering Owner Financing To Buyers. – Part I

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

‘Seller Financing’, ‘Seller Carry Back’, ‘Owner Will Carry’, ‘Taking Back the Note’ are all descriptions of the ever growing home financing opportunities across the country, in California, and now in Santa Barbara. Homeowners rarely contemplate personally financing the sale of their home, however in tight credit markets, owner financing can be a very powerful sales tool. A seller-financed real estate transaction is simply a sale where the owner operates as the ‘bank’ and where the buyer makes their payment directly to the seller.

Seller Financing - Loan Approved!

Seller financing offers many advantages to both buyer and seller:

FOR BUYERS:

  • Easy Qualification. Credit requirements may be a little more flexible.
  • Less Paperwork. More flexibility on the loan documents.
  • No Loan Costs. Substantial savings in closing costs.
  • Seller Flexibility. Owners can be more flexible if buyers get in trouble.

FOR SELLERS:

  • Pool of Buyers. Properties become more appealing to the growing pool of ‘credit-challenged’ buyers in today’s market.
  • Fast Closing. Owners can move a property more quickly.
  • Highest Price. Typically, when offering flexible owner-finance terms, sellers receiver higher prices. Buyers frequently are willing to pay a premium for non-qualifying financing.
  • Tax Benefit. An installment sale of real estate allows for the deferral of capital gain recognition. Always consult your tax professional regarding the impact of real estate on your tax liability.

In down markets, those sellers who are able to offer flexible terms to get their real property sold and closed often are at a significant advantage to sell their home quickly. This can potentially result in a larger pool of buyers; more profit; hopefully help the seller avoid chasing a falling market, and ideally lead to a quicker sale.

Are you looking to buy a home in or near Santa Barbara but have been unable to qualify for conventional bank financing? If you have a reasonable down payment, the ability to make monthly payments, buying a home in Santa Barbara may still be a reality. As more Santa Barbara sellers offer owner financing to attract buyers, the opportunities for you to buy a great property in Santa Barbara may no longer be just a dream.

If your Santa Barbara home ownership dream has been on hold, consider contacting Sylvia Miller. She can help you buy an owner-financed Santa Barbara home.

1402 Grand Ave, Santa Barbara, CA - Owner Financing Available!

The following are two examples of Santa Barbara homes currently offered for sale with owner financing available. See photo at left.

Property One:
1402 Grand Ave, Santa Barbara, CA – $2475,000

Stunning 180 degree views & an exquisite house! Every room is done with Italian stone, custom wooden beams & cabinetry and hand cast faux plaster walls. This classic estate was rebuilt from the ground up in 2002, and is one of the largest properties in the City with over 5 acres, walking trails, & 600 ft tree-lined driveway. Separate guest house 1bed/1bath.

897 Park Lane West - Owner Financing Available!

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Property Two:
897 Park Lane West, Santa Barbara, CA – $3,950,000

Panoramic ocean, island, Santa Barbara Harbor, & Santa Ynez Mountain views. Quiet, private road access in Montecito’s exclusive Golden Quadrangle. Outstanding custom features, including cathedral ceiling, stone fireplace, wood floors, wine rack wall. Master Suite with sitting area & fireplace. Fiber glass lined solar heated pool, rem control Jacuzzi spa.

If you would like to see either of these beautiful properties, or others, please contact Sylvia Miller, cell: 805-448-8882, or email her at sylvia@sanbarb.com.

If you would like more information on other owner-financed properties within Santa Barbara, Montecito, Carpinteria and Summerland, Goleta, Hope Ranch, and the Santa Ynez Valley, please contact me, sylvia@sanbarb.com, cell: 805-448-8882.

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© Copyright Sylvia E. Miller, Sylvia Miller Real Estate Services Blog 2010. All rights reserved.


Snowbird Destination Extraordinaire – Santa Barbara!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The 'Maple Leaf' - Canada's National Flag

Snowbirds will soon be arriving from many parts of Canada and Northern United States such as British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Washington, New York, Illinois, Michigan, etc. Snowbirds are by and large retirees and business owners who can afford to escape the cold & snowy weather for most of the winter. Attracted by the warmer fall and winter climates in the southwestern United States, they are leaving their snow-bound homes and heading for many popular and wonderful destinations.

Santa Barbara is one of the most popular Southern California snowbird destinations. Well known, as America’s Riviera, Santa Barbara has everything snowbirds desire: warm climate, beautiful beaches, many fun activities and scenic points of interest, great shopping and restaurants, fabulous cultural events, and all nestled between the beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific ocean. Santa Barbara is considered by many to be the ideal first-class and friendliest destination for the most in-the-know of snowbirds.

Snowbirds often settle in for several months and fortunately there are various real estate options are available for them. Many rent vacation apartments or condos and after making a couple of trips, some tend to even purchase and own homes in both the North and in the South. The concept of owning is continuing to grow in popularity, especially in a highly attractive vacation and resort destination such as Santa Barbara and its immediate neighboring communities, including Montecito, Carpinteria, Goleta and the Santa Ynez Valley.

Welcome to Santa Barbara Happy Snowbirds

Many snowbirds and in particular, Canadian snowbirds are able to afford more home purchases in America since their own country’s home prices have been on a rather steady double-digit rise while U.S. prices have dropped drastically in recent years.  In fact, in many markets, American real estate is more affordable than most Canadians can ever remember, and in Santa Barbara, prices are as much as half what they were only a few years back.

If you’re looking for advice on investing in a second or retirement home in the Santa Barbara area, you will be well served by fellow Canadian and Santa Barbara Realtor®, Sylvia Miller. Sylvia was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has lived in Santa Barbara for 25 years. She would love to help you explore the various real estate options available to you in Santa Barbara, including interim housing arrangements, financing and legal resources, property management and many additional connections to assist you in while in Santa Barbara.

Sylvia Elizabeth Miller, Santa Barbara Realtor®

Sylvia Miller is your complete Canada to Santa Barbara Connection.

If you would like more information on the Santa Barbara Real Estate Market, or more specific information about properties for sale within other Santa Barbara communites, including, Montecito, Summerland, Goleta, Hope Ranch, and the Santa Ynez Valley, please contact Sylvia, sylvia@sanbarb.com, cell: 805-448-8882 – she stands ready to meet your every Real Estate need!

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This post is copyright of Sylvia E. Miller, Sylvia Miller Real Estate Services, Coastal Properties, Santa Barbara, CA. 805-448-8882.

Carpinteria Avocado Festival- A Fun Time For All!

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Official Poster for 2010 Carpinteria Avocado Festival

Oct 02, 2010: Now that the beautiful summer weather has hit the central coast, there are lots of great activities to participate in on the weekends. For the first weekend of October, the fine people of Carpinteria (of which I am one) will host the 24th annual Avocado Festival, the largest free festival in Santa Barbara’s South Coast.

Carpinteria, a charming little beach town, is just 10 miles south of Santa Barbara and the Avocado Festival is a local tradition of fun and entertainment. The main street, Linden Avenue, is closed down with food booths, avocado education booths, kiddie entertainment areas and unique arts and crafts booths set up for the entertainment of the many families that come. Additionally, there will be over 60 bands performing on 3 different stages and contests for the largest avocado and the best guacamole!

Having attended many Avocado Festivals personally, I have several recommendations to offer for this upcoming weekend. First, the music starts at 4:00 on Friday, October 1. One of the favorites will be local band, The Brewery Boys, who will start playing Friday night from 9-10 o’clock on the Seal Stage. They play lots of the golden oldies! For those of you who like the King of Pop, The New Vibe, a Michael Jackson tribute band will be playing Friday night at 9:00 on the Arts and Cantina Stage. I also had the chance to hear the Anthony Prieto Band at the Relay for Life this summer. They have a full band (with horns) and play hot, lively music that makes you want to dance! They will be playing Saturday at 1:15 on the Main Stage.

There will be many food booths run by local school groups and service organizations to raise money.  The Carpinteria Lions Club will be serving their famous barbeque tri-tip sandwiches – they are a great deal, and very, very delicioso! I have tried the Avocado ice cream and it is rather tasty, very smooth and creamy. Give it a try! I also have to mention the specially brewed beer, Avocado Honey Ale, by Island Brewery. It’s a unique beer brewed just for this time of year and served at Island Brewery down by the train station.

Lastly, for those of you who are young or young at heart, there is an entertainment area for kids. Pam’s “Little Pits” Stage, will have a different performer every hour. Entertainment will start at 11:00 on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, Craig Newton and Shawn McMaster will mystify you with amazing magic tricks!

The Carpinteria Avocado Festival has something for everyone. It is a great time for families and friends in the Santa Barbara County area. For that matter, Carpinteria is only 20 miles north of Ventura, so come on up and join in the fun!

If you would like more information about the Avocado Festival, or about the city/community of Carpinteria, or specific info concerning the Carpinteria & Santa Barbara Real Estate Market, please contact me, sylvia@sanbarb.com, cell: 805-448-8882. I would be very happy to provide you with additional information.

Hope to see you at the Festival!

-Sylvia E. Miller

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This post is copyright of Sylvia E. Miller, Sylvia Miller Real Estate Services, Coastal Properties, Santa Barbara, CA. 805-448-8882.